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Taking time out to have a nutritious lunch, especially during a busy working day, is super-important. It helps to keep our energy levels up, keeping us focused and helping us get the most out of the rest of the day.
Here’s our pick of the best healthy lunches that really pack a flavour punch.
Coated in sesame seeds, then seared hard and fast, this salmon is beautifully tender with a gorgeous crust. Served with noodles, avocado, grated beets, carrots and cucumber, and a garlicky tahini dressing, this is not only delicious, it also provides three of our 5-a-day!
Fluffy quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, bombs of feta cheese, crunchy nuts and an incredible pomegranate, balsamic and lime dressing – this superfood salad tastes great and will fill you up for the afternoon ahead.
A fresh take on the breakfast classic, this makes a great dish for lunch, too. You can use frozen peas and broad beans here so it’s easier on the pocket – simply liven it up with fresh mint, lemon zest and feta to really get the flavours going.
Make up a big batch of this lovely aromatic soup, then portion it up into tupperware to take to work. Make a batch of the fennel flatbreads too, then freeze the surplus, ready to take out and warm in the microwave when needed. They’re great with this soup and will make your weekday lunches that little bit more exciting.
If you cooked a roast chicken at the weekend, this is the perfect leftover lunch for the days that follow. Shredded up chicken and crunchy lettuce, tossed together with mixed seeds and refreshing cucumber, then jazzed up with coriander, mint, fiery chilli and lime, this salad will certainly wake you up on a chilly Monday. It’s a great idea to keep little jam jars with secure lids as they’re perfect for storing and transporting salad dressings – you’ll just need to shake up and pour over when you’re ready to eat.
Packed with grated, seasonal veg and tossed in a simple yoghurt dressing, this wrap is easy to put together, pack up and take to work or school (the kids love it too!). Swap in your own favourite fruit and veg – hard, crunchy ones work best – then pimp it with chopped fresh, soft herbs and a little cheese. Simple and delicious.
Nutrition: 331 calories, 18 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 400 mg sodium, 33 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 9 g protein
We love this take on a classic pasta salad because there are more antioxidant-rich veggies than pasta! Cherry tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, and crumbled feta—key ingredients of the heart-protecting, weight-maintaining Mediterranean diet—are the base for this delicious dish. And the best part? Once you prep the veggies for this salad, it will be easy to throw together the following meals, which require many of the same ingredients.
Get the recipe from Cooking Classy.
Superfood Recipe #1 Rainbow Salad – Lunch
One of our favorite superfood recipes, this Rainbow Superfood Salad will brighten your plate with all the colors of the rainbow! Different colored foods mean different nutrients, so this superfood salad recipe is perfect for boosting your nutrient intake.
Recipe: Rainbow Superfood Salad
- ½ cup quinoa
- 2 cups bunch shredded kale
- ½ cup red kidney beans
- 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- Handful of walnuts
- 3 tbsp dried cranberries
- 1 punnet/basket of blueberries
- 3 oranges, juiced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp manuka honey
- Cook quinoa according to packet instructions. Once cooked, place into a large bowl.
- Add kale, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, cranberries, beans and walnuts. Stir to combine.
- In a small bowl, mix orange juice, olive oil, garlic and honey. Pour over salad. Serve and enjoy!
For more super salads, check out our “ 8 Really Easy Plant-Based Diet Recipes ”. It includes my recipe for Easy Avocado and Chickpea Salad, which requires no cooking at all.
30 Superfood Recipes You've Never Tried Before
What the heck are these superfood things people keep talking about? Certain foods (mainly fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds) are particularly packed with essential nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. From avocado to zucchini, we’ve got the low-down on these super-powered foods that can boost health from the inside out.
Just because they’re superfoods doesn’t necessarily mean they’re super-complicated to prepare, though. For those who are crunched for time, inexperienced in the kitchen, or just not in the mood to cook an elaborate meal, we’ve put together a list of our favorite super-simple, super-healthy recipes. Each of the meals featured below includes at least two superfoods, so you’re guaranteed to get a nutrient-packed meal. What are you waiting for? Go get cooking!
1. Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal
Thanks to pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and milk (of your choice), this hearty oatmeal packs a nutritional punch with four superfoods and less than five minutes of prep time. Optional toppings of nuts and dried fruits provide a morning energy boost, while a dash of the cinnamon adds savory flavor, protects your heart, and fights inflammation Cinnamon and health. Gruenwald J, Freder J, Armbruester N. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 2010, Dec.50(9):1549-7852.”>Cinnamon and health. Gruenwald J, Freder J, Armbruester N. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 2010, Dec.50(9):1549-7852..
2. Colorful Flower Eggs
These baked eggs pack 12.5 grams of protein per serving so you don’t need a mid-morning snack. If you’re not a fan of vitamin-rich bell peppers (which are loaded with vitamins A and C that protect the immune system and skin) as the containers for your baked eggs, substitute eggplant, acorn squash, or pumpkin.
3. Kale, Almond, Banana Smoothie With Chia Seeds
A perfect on-the-go breakfast, this smoothie recipe features a delicious combination of four superfoods: kale, banana, almond butter, and chia seeds.Although the recipe calls for almond milk, consider subbing in soy or skim milk, which contain essential vitamins and minerals that can help with losing weight, building muscle, and fortifying bones Preliminary study: soy milk as effective as skim milk in promoting weight loss. Lukaszuk JM, Luebbers P, Gordon BA. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2007, Nov.107(10):0002-8223. Consumption of fluid skim milk promotes greater muscle protein accretion after resistance exercise than does consumption of an isonitrogenous and isoenergetic soy-protein beverage. Wilkinson SB, Tarnopolsky MA, Macdonald MJ. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 2007, May.85(4):0002-9165.”>Preliminary study: soy milk as effective as skim milk in promoting weight loss. Lukaszuk JM, Luebbers P, Gordon BA. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2007, Nov.107(10):0002-8223. Consumption of fluid skim milk promotes greater muscle protein accretion after resistance exercise than does consumption of an isonitrogenous and isoenergetic soy-protein beverage. Wilkinson SB, Tarnopolsky MA, Macdonald MJ. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 2007, May.85(4):0002-9165..
4. Sweet Potato Hash With Eggs
A hearty and delicious breakfast that combines sweet potatoes, eggs, and red, green, and yellow bell peppers, this hash can easily accommodate add-ins. Toss in some meat (like sausage or shredded chicken) for extra protein, or up the veggies with onions, kale, or spinach. Sweet potatoes, which provide 400 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A, are both delicious and beneficial to eye health.
5. Shirred Eggs With Smoked Salmon
This baked egg dish is super simple, layering eggs, Swiss chard, onions, and chives with slices of gooey brie cheese and salmon (which is full of brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids). Although the recipe calls for heavy cream, consider using milk or a milk substitute to reduce calories without forgoing the silky texture.
6. Breakfast Casserole With Spinach, Leeks, Cottage Cheese, and Goat Cheese
This fancy-looking casserole will impress your friends and make them healthier. It features a hearty serving spinach, a great source of iron, which aids in building muscles. Simply combine spinach with leeks, cottage cheese, and goat cheese, bake for 20 minutes, and enjoy.
7. Goat Cheese and Beet Salad
Beets are back! This salad features bright-red roots alongside thinly sliced carrots. It’s a recipe perfect for any fan of cancer-fighting root veggies. (Bonus: The high levels of potassium in beets help your body build muscle and proteins.) Toss the vegetables with pistachios (for fiber and protein), goat cheese, and baby greens for a speedy, tasty lunch.
8. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
This chicken salad recipe uses Greek yogurt (which is packed with probiotics that can aid digestion andsupplies a healthy dose of protein) rather than mayonnaise for a deliciously creamy and healthy sandwich filling. Apples, almonds, and green onions add tasty crunch to this light, gluten-free lunch.
9. Quinoa Salad With Red Pepper and Cilantro
Quinoa is a powerhouse seed that provides a light but protein-rich base for this cool salad. Topped with a citrusy vinaigrette made of cilantro, lime, and mustard, this meal will leave you full without the empty calories in most pasta salads.
10. Spinach, Avocado, and Kiwi Salad
This salad is primarily made of fruit, with spinach playing second fiddle. Featuring kiwis (containing 117 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C) and avocados (which are loaded with healthy fats and vitamins like B6, which promote healthy skin), these superfruits make this salad super-delicious.
11. Orange, Avocado, and Arugula Salad
A simple salad that’s surprisingly filling, this recipe is a straightforward combination of avocado, orange, pomegranate, basil, mint, and leafy, vitamin-rich arugula. The light dressing of lemon, olive oil, and honey takes just a few minutes to prepare and adds a citrusy kick to the superfood salad.
12. Stacked Salmon Salad
Avocado, yellow squash, and whole roasted red piquillo peppers are neatly layered to make this breadless ”sandwich.” Yellow squash not only has high levels of vitamin C, but its high content of lutein helps protect eye health. Oven-baked salmon acts as the bread to the layers of antioxidant-rich veggies. The best part? This stacked gourmet lunch takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.
13. Sweet Potato and Green Bean Salad With Maple-Mustard Dressing
This roasted sweet potato salad is the perfect meatless Monday main (talk about a tongue twister!). Toss the taters with green beans, mixed leafy greens, toasted walnuts, and dried cranberries for a meal that packs a punch without much prep.
14. Grilled Halibut With Kale Pistachio Pesto
Although grilled halibut provides a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, the superfood hero in this recipe is actually the pesto sauce. Made of basil, kale, pistachios, garlic, olive oil, lemon, and Parmesan cheese, this antioxidant-rich sauce is as tasty as it is healthy.
15. Harvest Skillet Popped Lentils
For this recipe, roast lentils in a pan until they’re crispy, nutty, and flavorful enough to tempt even meat eaters. Combine green apples, butternut squash, and sweet potato with the lentils, and season everything with cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and apple cider vinegar.
16. Salmon With Almonds and Asparagus
Salmon and asparagus, two superfoods linked to improving cognitive function and preventing hangovers, take center stage in this recipe Effects of Asparagus officinalis extracts on liver cell toxicity and ethanol metabolism. Kim BY, Cui ZG, Lee SR. Journal of food science, 2010, Jan.74(7):1750-3841. Serum phospholipid docosahexaenonic acid is associated with cognitive functioning during middle adulthood. Muldoon MF, Ryan CM, Sheu L. The Journal of nutrition, 2010, Feb.140(4):1541-6100.”>Effects of Asparagus officinalis extracts on liver cell toxicity and ethanol metabolism. Kim BY, Cui ZG, Lee SR. Journal of food science, 2010, Jan.74(7):1750-3841. Serum phospholipid docosahexaenonic acid is associated with cognitive functioning during middle adulthood. Muldoon MF, Ryan CM, Sheu L. The Journal of nutrition, 2010, Feb.140(4):1541-6100.. Top grilled salmon and asparagus with toasted almonds, and dress the whole shebang with garlic, chili, and lemon. After less than 20 minutes of prep and cooking, this recipe is both simple and filling—a no-brainer.
17. Chickpeas and Dandelion Greens
With fewer than eight ingredients, this salad is a simple dinner option that combines dandelion greens with fiber- and iron-rich chickpeas. A dressing of tangerine juice and lemon zest cuts the bitterness of the greens. Make this salad a bit more robust by serving it on a bed of fluffy, protein-packed quinoa.
18. Honey Sesame Steamed Greens
This recipe is a leafy green bonanza! The instructions call for kale, broccoli, spinach, bok choy, and Swiss chard, but any variety of leafy greens will fit the bill. These greens, which provide an array of vitamins—incluing C , E, and K—can help regulate blood flow and protect cells. Simply microwave sesame seeds to add a toasted nutty crunch to the honey, garlic, and soy sauce dressing.
19. Raw Vegan Banana Hemp Seed Sushi Slices
There’s no need to be a sushi expert to make these fish-free snacks. Simply spread peanut butter on top of a whole banana and sprinkle with a hearty dose of hemp seeds to add protein and vitamin E, which supports immune system function. Slice and enjoy!
20. Fruit Salad With Kiwi, Strawberries, and Mango
Get rid of those grade school memories of grapes floating in high fructose corn syrup. This fruit salad is a nutrient-rich mix of kiwis, strawberries, and mangos combined with lemon juice, honey, and mint. Packed with loads of vitamin C, this salad can help combat some cancers and give a boost to the immune system all in one tasty, sweet serving.
21. Superfood Trail Mix
Rather than munching on sugary granola, consider this superfood-rich trail mix. This combination of pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans, dried cranberries, raisins, blueberries, goji berries, and walnuts relies on natural sweetness for flavor. The cholesterol- and cancer-fighting power of nuts will keep you healthy, and the protein will keep you moving all day long.
22. Chia Crispbreads
Give yourself a midday boost of energy with these chia crispbreads that are loaded with antioxidants. Plus, studies suggest the omega-3s in chia can improve endurance and serve as an effective way to carbo-load Omega 3 Chia seed loading as a means of carbohydrate loading. Illian TG, Casey JC, Bishop PA. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association, 2011, May.25(1):1533-4287.”>Omega 3 Chia seed loading as a means of carbohydrate loading. Illian TG, Casey JC, Bishop PA. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association, 2011, May.25(1):1533-4287.. Made with sunflower, pumpkin, and chia seeds alongside oats and flax, they’re baked thin and perfect for topping with your favorite fruit or spread.
23. Cinnamon Applesauce With Flax and Honey
In less than two minutes, you can whip up a snack that may help decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease and lower your risk of diabetes The acute effect of flavonoid-rich apples and nitrate-rich spinach on cognitive performance and mood in healthy men and women. Bondonno CP, Downey LA, Croft KD. Food & function, 2014, Dec.5(5):2042-650X. Dietary flavonoid intakes and risk of type 2 diabetes in US men and women. Wedick NM, Pan A, Cassidy A. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 2012, Feb.95(4):1938-3207.”>The acute effect of flavonoid-rich apples and nitrate-rich spinach on cognitive performance and mood in healthy men and women. Bondonno CP, Downey LA, Croft KD. Food & function, 2014, Dec.5(5):2042-650X. Dietary flavonoid intakes and risk of type 2 diabetes in US men and women. Wedick NM, Pan A, Cassidy A. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 2012, Feb.95(4):1938-3207.. Packed with nutrients and a variety of plant polyphenols (compounds like flavonoids, which protect against heart disease), this mid-afternoon bite mixes cinnamon, flax seeds, honey, and unsweetened applesauce into a delicious and healthy snack.
24. Roasted Garbanzo Beans With Sea Salt and Goji Berries
Craving potato chips? Try subbing in roasted garbanzo beans sprinkled with sea salt and goji berries instead. The hearty snack will leave you full of nutrients such as iron, fiber, folate and magnesium rather than with empty calories.
25. Pomegranate Raita
Raita, a southeast Asian condiment, is a yogurt-based dip that’s perfect for dunking apples, strawberries, or bananas. Whisk yogurt and sweetener (we recommend using honey ) with cumin, black salt, and chaat masala. Add a dash of pomegranate juice, which may help protect the heart, and garnish the creamy dip with grated beets Pomegranate juice: a heart-healthy fruit juice. Basu A, Penugonda K. Nutrition reviews, 2009, Apr.67(1):1753-4887.”>Pomegranate juice: a heart-healthy fruit juice. Basu A, Penugonda K. Nutrition reviews, 2009, Apr.67(1):1753-4887..
Our Best Lunch Recipes
Stuck in a rut when it comes to lunch? These easy recipes will change that. From hearty soups and grain bowls to flavor-packed sandwiches and salads — these midday meals will help you re-think your regular routine.
Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014 Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
©Food stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin
Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
This vegetarian riff on a classic chicken salad sandwich is both satisfying and loaded with flavor, thanks to the tangy lemon juice, stone-ground mustard and fresh herbs. We added a sprinkle of roasted pepitas and a handful of hearty baby kale for texture and crunch. Serve on toasted whole wheat bread or with vegetables and crackers for a wholesome meal.
Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Lentil Soup
We love a good slow-cooker recipe. It saves time and effort in the kitchen and creates options. Take Jeff&rsquos hearty Mediterranean-inspired soup, for example &mdash you can toss your ingredients into the pot in the morning and cook everything on high for a soup that&rsquos ready at lunch time OR you can cook the ingredients for 8 hours on low the day before and use the extra time to tackle a task on your to-do list.
Healthy Peanut Soba Noodles with Vegetable Salad
These cold noodles are the perfect thing to make if you need a packed lunch. They're vegetarian, but still full of protein, thanks to the soba noodles and peanut butter. Go ahead and double the recipe to cover lunch for another day.
Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
The classic combination of tart apples and savory Cheddar transform a basic grilled cheese into a lunch that's perfect for fall &mdash or any time of the year.
Mexican Chicken Soup
Soup makes a great lunch because you can make it ahead and reheat it whenever you're ready to eat. If you can't find the posole (also called hominy) that this recipe calls for, feel free to substitute frozen corn kernels.
Mediterranean Tuna Wrap
Ellie freshens up classic tuna salad with her 5-star recipe. She uses olive oil, lemon salt and pepper to dress the tuna instead of mayonnaise, and adds onion, herbs and olives for even more flavor.
BLT Bean Salad
All the flavors of a classic BLT sandwich come together in this hearty bean salad. The homemade herb-mayo dressing adds freshness while the crisp bacon and croutons add a welcomed crunch. It's a great way to use up those pantry beans.
Tortellini Caprese Salad
Turn quick-cooking tortellini into a colorful and delicious lunch by adding tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. And, the dressing couldn&rsquot be simpler: just a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
Frittata makes a great lunch because it can easily be adapted to whatever you have on hand. This speedy recipe calls for bell pepper, boiled potatoes and turkey but other add-ins like mushrooms, leftover cooked veggies, tomatoes, greens and chicken would all work well too.
Spicy Taco Salad
Toss everything you love about tacos (including the shells and cheese) into a hearty salad for a lunch you'll want to eat every day of the week.
Caprese Salad Sub Sandwich
The best way to upgrade a classic tomato and mozzarella sandwich? Serve it on garlic toast with fresh basil and thinly sliced salami and ham!
Buffalo Chicken Pizza
This pizza is totally doable at lunch time, thanks to refrigerated pizza dough and pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. The whole thing comes together with just 10 minutes of prep work and only needs about 15 minutes in the oven.
Chicken Soup with Wild Rice and Hominy
We love the combination of wild rice and hominy in this simple soup. Brown rice or any leftover cooked grain would work well, too. We use a few tricks to get maximum comforting flavor into the soup, starting by enriching the chicken broth with a roast chicken carcass and by adding chopped cilantro and scallion at the very end for freshness.
Nordic Shrimp Toast
These decorative toasts have all the flavors of Nordic cuisine and no foraging is required! Delicate shrimp get double-hacked: first, they are quickly cooked in a covered pot off the stovetop and then sliced en masse using a trick involving two plastic lids. Perfect when you need a quick lunch!
Chicken, Avocado Cream and Quinoa Salad-in-a-Jar
Enjoy a layered lunch with this portable, Mexican-inspired quinoa salad. To save time, make a big batch of quinoa, and freeze it in resealable bags for up to 1 month. Having a whole-grain arsenal in your freezer will help cut down on prep time later.
Healthy Tuna Grain Bowl with Turmeric Sweet Potatoes and Spicy Yogurt Dressing
This healthy grain bowl is loaded with fresh ingredients and vibrant flavors, thanks to the tangy, spicy yogurt sauce and turmeric-roasted sweet potatoes. If you're worried about time, roast the sweet potatoes over the weekend and stash them in your refigerator. They're easy to reheat in the microwave.
These easy treats are inspired by Central American quesadillas and pupusas, which come filled with creamy, mild cheese and delicate squash blossoms or loroco, a mild edible vine. We subbed purslane, which has a similar vegetal flavor and a bit of crunch. If you can't find it another green like baby spinach would work.
Copycat Guacamole Greens
This salad is inspired by a popular menu item at a healthy restaurant chain. We love it &mdash but we also love saving money. So set aside some time during your week to make this vinaigrette, which makes enough for about five salads. And if you're super ambitious, go ahead and prep enough ingredients for a week's worth of lunches.
Southwestern Pulled Brisket Sandwiches
This is a great recipe for anyone who meal preps their lunch. You can cook the brisket over the weekend. After you shred it, store in the refrigerator for easy sandwiches and wraps all week long.
Italian Deli Pasta Salad
This speedy pasta salad brings all your deli counter favorites (salami, cheese and giardiniera) together in just 30 minutes. Best of all, it makes 8 servings &mdash so you have lunch for a few days!
15-Minute Cheesy Polenta with Chunky Tomato Ragu
This quick homemade tomato ragu is packed with vegetables and takes just a few minutes longer than warming up a jar of sauce. Finely chopping the vegetables in a food processor cuts down the cooking time tremendously. Serve it over quick-cooking creamy polenta for a complete meal that's ready in 15 minutes.
Tuna, White Bean and Olive Flatbread Pitas
Even if your pantry is close to bare, you probably have the fixin's for these super-simple and special flatbreads. The combo of sun-dried tomatoes and vinegar gives the bean spread a tangy earthiness that goes great with the tuna-and-olive salad.
Quick-cooking ground chicken gets a major flavor upgrade with coriander, cumin, fresh ginger and garlic, giving these pita sandwiches their Indian-inspired flair.
Mixed Grains with Shiitakes and Corn
Didn&rsquot have time over the weekend to prep ingredients for a lunchtime grain bowl? No worries! This recipe uses quick-cooking quinoa and millet as the base for mushrooms, corn and herbs, making a filling and flavorful lunch possible &mdash even when you&rsquore racing the clock.
Herbed Egg White Omelet with Tomatoes
Omelets are one of our go-to lunches because they cook up quick and are packed with protein. They&rsquore also highly adaptable &mdash feel free to fill them with whatever ingredients you love or have on hand.
34 Ridiculously Easy Healthy Lunch Meal Prep Recipes
If you’re looking for the best, easy, healthy lunch recipes to meal prep, then you’re in the right place!
Read on for 34 Ridiculously Easy Lunches to make ahead.
Bonus: Every single one of these recipes is gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free.
We all know what a struggle lunch can be.
And while there are plenty for resources out there for packing lunches for kids, there aren’t nearly enough to help with lunch if you’re an adult.
But that ends now—these lunch prep tips and recipes are for us adults who deserve delicious, nourishing lunches just as much as kids!
That’s where a little meal prep can save the day: with a few intentional minutes in the kitchen, you’ll be all set with lunches for the entire week.
To help you out, I’ve rounded up my favorite easy, healthy lunches you can prep ahead and take to work, to class, or anywhere your day takes you.
Simplified Tips for to Streamline Lunch Meal Prep
Start by prepping one thing, and building from there.
Instead of looking to carve out an hour (or several), try prepping a little as you go.
Having a flexible plan for the week, or a meal map, will help you prep with purpose.
Let that slow cooker or pressure cooker work for you.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every single week!
The Best Lunch Meal Prep Containers & Kitchen Tools (affiliate links)
The Best Way to Freeze Lunch Soups and Stews for Meal Prep
34 Ridiculously Easy Healthy Lunches to Meal Prep
Easy, Healthy Vegetarian Lunch Recipes for Meal Prep
This Crunchy Curry Quinoa Salad makes a perfect lunch, dinner side, or vibrant addition to any brunch table.
Autumn Lentil Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing packs so much flavor and texture into every bite, yet is surprisingly simple to make. It can be prepared ahead, too, making it perfect for lunch.
Creamy and crunchy (without dairy or mayo), Crunchy Smashed Chickpea Salad is packed with plant-based protein and fiber. It’s s snap to make, tastes delicious, and packs beautifully for lunch.
With just five simple ingredients and 20 minutes you can whip up this tasty and crowd pleasing 5-Ingredient Mediterranean Pasta Salad recipe. Great for lunch on the go.
Simple to make with pantry staples and a few fresh ingredients, Lunch Box Tomato Basil Lentil Salad packs beautifully for lunch on-the-go.
Autumn Meal Prep Lentil Salad is packed with nutrition and full of beautiful fall flavors. Perfect to prep-ahead and take for lunch, or enjoy as a side dish anytime.
Bright, colorful, and super tasty, 20-Minute Rainbow Veggie Pasta Salad is just the thing for
Easy, Healthy Chicken Salad Lunch Recipes for Meal Prep
One-Bowl Harvest Chicken Salad (Dairy-free, Mayo-Free) is a fresh, bright recipe, perfect for lunch or dinner. Simple to make, crunchy, and satisfying, you’ll want to make this one again and again.
Packed with nourishing ingredients, Turmeric Tahini Loaded Chicken Salad is perfect for lunch at home or to make ahead and take on-the-go!
Meal Prep Golden Glow Chicken Salad is an easy, healthy make-ahead meal that you can prep ahead and take on the go. Make it with chicken, or any protein you like!
Easy, Healthy Egg Salad Lunch Recipes for Meal Prep
Meal Prep Lemony Dill Egg Salad (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, vegetarian)
Meal Prep Lemony Dill Egg Salad is fresh, bright and super simple to make ahead. A gluten-free, dairy-free, mayo-free recipe.
Packed with anti-inflammatory turmeric, this easy egg salad recipe will help you glow from the inside out.
Tahini lends richness and veggies add crunch in this nourishing, mayo-free egg salad recipe.
Packed with goodness, you’ll want to meal prep this easy salad every week!
A twist on a classic, avocado lends a creamy flavor to this mayo-free egg salad.
Easy, Healthy Soup & Stew Lunch Recipes for Meal Prep
Crockpot Mini Turkey Meatball Vegetable Soup is hearty one-pot meal that’s packed with the good stuff. A gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30 recipe your family will love.
Slow Cooker Chicken, Kale, and Sweet Potato Stew is packed with protein and veggies and is so easy to make with a short list of simple ingredients.
Your new paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30, healthy go-to crockpot recipe!
Sausage, Cabbage & Sweet Potato Stew is a super-simple, ultra comforting one-pot meal that comes together in a matter of minutes.
A cozy, delicious gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30 recipe that can be made in the Instant Pot, Crockpot or stove top.
Packed with chicken, veggies, and good-for-you turmeric, Instant Pot + Slow Cooker Turmeric Chicken No-Noodle Soup is warming, nourishing, and so delicious!
Simple to make and bursting with fresh summer flavors, Crockpot Loaded Mexican Chicken Soup is perfect any time of year.
A great recipe for all your farmer’s market finds, and paleo and Whole30 friendly, too!
Light, healthy, and bursting with flavor, Instant Pot + Crockpot Sunshine Lemon Chicken Chowder makes for an easy weeknight dinner.
Packed with chicken and vegetables, Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) is made with real food ingredients and tastes amazing!
Instant Pot Minestrone (Whole30, No-Beans) is packed with protein and veggies and makes for the perfect, hearty, one-pot meal. A gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30 friendly recipe.
This simple recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken, Veggie, and Quinoa Stew is healthy, hearty and so delicious!
Slow Cooker Chicken and Chickpea Stew
Slow Cooker Chicken and Chickpea Stew is a hearty meal in a bowl, full of chicken, chickpeas, veggies, and subtle Moroccan flavors.
Super easy to prepare, Slow Cooker Chicken, Black Bean and Quinoa Stew is full of hearty, nourishing ingredients and will be a hit with the entire family. The perfect healthy dinner recipe in a hurry!
Instant Pot Golden Glow Butternut Squash Soup is a super simple, easy fall recipe that’s perfect for weeknight dinners. Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, paleo and whole30 friendly.
Simple, fresh ingredients combine in these Easy Southwest Quinoa Bowls, perfect for a light dinner or lunch on-the-go.
Sheet Pan Chicken, Kale & Sweet Potatoes is a super-simple and healthy 5-ingredient sheet pan recipe perfect for meal prep.
Asian Quinoa Bowls with 5-Ingredient Peanut Sauce are packed with vibrant veggies and topped with the easiest peanut sauce ever.
Super fresh and so versatile, Build-Your-Own Veggie Quinoa Power Bowls are simple to prepare and packed with flavor.
Slurpable noodles and heaps of tender veggies combine with an ultra-simple sauce in Veggie Noodle Bowls with 5-Ingredient Peanut Sauce. No complicated ingredient list here, these bowls are easy to make and taste amazing.
These flavor-packed Moroccan Chicken Bowls include chicken dusted with warming spices, a fresh and sweet nectarine sauce, lightly browned zucchini, and tangy olives. It’s a Moroccan party in a bowl!
With just a few minutes, some simple pantry ingredients, and a handful of fresh veggies you can whip up these flavor-packed 20-Minute Black Bean Bowls with Confetti Slaw. They are easy, quick, and super delicious!
Creamed corn salad
152 calories/10g fat per portion
This creamed corn salad is super quick and easy to make in just 10 minutes. Made with sweetcorn, cream and shallots, this warming salad is perfect if you're a fan of sweetcorn. Counting towards your 5-a-day, serve this salad with fresh leaves and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds before serving.
Get the recipe: Creamed corn salad
Image credit: TI Media Limited
Low Carb Lunch Recipes
Low carb lunches are great options because they keep you from getting too weighted down with that midday meal. Oftentimes all you need to do is cook up a lean protein, add some veggies (raw or cooked) and season everything with the same spice blend or sauce. Plus, you end up saving time because you don't have to cook any grains. It's a win-win!
Similar to the low carb options above, salads are of course a go-to for healthy lunches but they don't have to be boring! Be sure to mix up the toppings and salad dressings. I like keeping my salads in mason jars when meal prepping them for the week because you can keep the dressing and protein in the bottom then layer in your veggies. This is especially important for lettuce to make sure it stays fresh!
Rice Bowl Lunches
When I really have time to prep ahead, I like to prep rice bowls! The Korean Chicken and Mango Chicken are my faves because the sauces are just SO good, but burrito bowls are also super easy to throw together and you can also take shortcuts by using pre-chopped veggies and store-bought salsas, which are a great low-calorie option for your bowls!
Instant Pot Lunches
I love making my lunches for the week in the Instant Pot. You can make all sorts of lunch-friendly recipes like rice bowls, casseroles, pastas, taco meat, etc. I personally like to batch cook a big pot of pasta to take for work week lunches like the Pesto Chicken Pasta linked below – it's one pot for minimal clean up, you can easily transport it to work and it reheats well. Tip: add a splash of water overtop of your pasta before microwaving. It will help retain moisture!
And there you have it, my fave healthy lunch recipes together in one place! Get started meal prepping by just choosing one or two of the above recipes to make for your weekly lunches and move up from there. You can also try mixing and matching some of the above recipes to switch up your weekly lunches.
Lunch Recipes & Weight Loss
I always used to struggle with lunch meal prep for the work week because I had trouble planning ahead and let's just say this was long before I discovered food blogs! I used to rely primarily on cookbooks to whip together delicious dinners but would struggle when it came to making my lunches for work and school.
You can learn more about my 25lb weight loss and meal prep journey over on my About Page, and this page will also help you navigate how to use my website to its full potential. I've got a ton of other amazing resources and recipes that will help you with so many more healthy lunch ideas!
Meal prep tools
- are so great for microwaving and reheating your food safely are perfect for salads since they keep lettuce separated from dressings are another awesome option for keeping your greens and proteins separated so nothing gets soggy
- My Rice Cooker saves me so much time in the meal prep process because I can cook my grains ahead of time
- These Bento box containers are perfect for packing snacks and lunches together!
- Restock your freezer with grass-fed beef and poultry from Butcher Box – and for a limited time get two free ribeyes and bacon!
Healthy Breakfast Ideas
If you're looking for more meal prep ideas, give one of these grab and go breakfasts a try!
Healthy Dinner Meal Prep
Back when I was first learning to cook for myself, I would often just rely on dinner leftovers for lunches the next day. Turns out, that's only a great strategy if you have the time to make dinner every night. If you're struggling to make dinner, you can find some of my fave meal prep dinners below:
- 52 healthy, quick dinner ideas – we're talking 30 minute recipes, sheet pan, one pan skillet meals, Instant Pot, slow cooker and more! can ease up on the time you spend cooking and make for easier weeknight dinners
Budget-Friendly Meat Recipes
Another lunch strategy I love is making a bunch of baked chicken ahead of time then using for fun bowls with delicious sauces, or freezing steak in marinades for easy cooking.
- 8 Easy Steak Marinades – perfect for incorporating steak in your weekly meal prep
- How to make the BEST baked chicken breast– make your chicken ahead of time then just saute your veggies
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One-pan recipes are always on rotation for busy weeknight meals. Not only are they easy to make, but they require less clean-up (which is my favorite attribute!). I have quite the selection of one-pan recipes, because I’m such a fan, so enjoy this wide variety of flavorful options.
More Easy Summer Lunch Ideas Kids Love!
Summer Lunch Idea #5: Stove-top Bacon Shells and Cheese.
We never use the box macaroni and cheese anymore after diving into this recipe!
The tiny pieces of bacon make this recipe top notch!
Summer Lunch Idea #6: Easy Sloppy Joes.
This homemade, super-simple recipe will knock your kids’ socks off!
And do me a teensy, weeny favor?
Add a slice of cheese on these babies!
Summer Lunch Idea #7: Easy Chicken Salad.
I love I can whip up this ahh-mazing salad the night before and we can just grab some bread and make some quick and yummy sandwiches!
Kitchen never gets hot and kids and mom enjoy a change-up on quick lunches!
Summer Lunch Idea #8: Tater Tot Nachos.
These are really popular on Pinterest right now!
Head on over and find out why!
Summer Lunch Idea #9: Homemade Ham, Turkey and Cheese Pockets.
These will bring back memories for parents!
But, our homemade version is healthier, super easy and a HUGE winner with moms and kids!
Summer Lunch Idea #10: 15 Minute Simple Tortilla pizza.
Store-bought flour and corn tortillas are an absolute necessity in our busy home.
We’re grabbing those easy-meal-making helpers severalties per week so we can keep our large, busy family fed!
You’ll love this easy recipe that kids can helpmate too!
Personalize them for even more lunch time fun!
Summer Lunch Idea #11: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Yes, you may have already thought of it.
- Use sourdough bread
- Use two slices of cheese
- Cook in butter and not oil
- Make homemade tomato soup instead of canned.
Summer Lunch Idea #12: Easy baked taco pie.
We’re Tex-Mex food lovin’ family and no one complains when deserve this super-easy dish for lunch!
If we eat a hearty lunch, we’ll plan lighter dinner!
Summer Lunch Idea #13: Meatless burritos.
Just a few simple ingredients get this easy summer lunch on the table!
Summer Lunch Idea #14: Taco Lasagna.
A creative spin on tacos and lasagna!
This one dish meal is super quick to toss together and keeps the kids happy and full!
Summer Lunch Idea #15: Easy Tuna BLT.
Can you tell our family loves tuna?
Here’s a super simple way to jazz up a plain sandwich during the summer months!
Summer Lunch Idea #16: Zucchini pizza bites.
A fresh and healthier twist to pizza.
Summer Lunch Idea #17: Easy Mexican Pinwheels.
These are great for the summer, but work beautifully during the school year too!
Keep these cuties in the fridge and you’ll ready to dig into lunch any day of the week!
Summer Lunch Idea #18: Easy Skillet Burgers.
Just made these for my kids yesterday for the umpteenth time and there were no complaints — only thumbs up and smiles!
Just enough of a “thank you”before they headed out for some more roller-blading and water fights!
Summer Lunch Idea #19: Pizza Spaghetti Bake.
No kid will complain about getting pizza and spaghetti for lunch!
This is a super simple dish that’s your fave Italian foods all dressed up!
Add a salad and you’ve got a little pizza restaurant in your own home!
Summer Lunch Idea #20: Pizza Egg Rolls
We made a supreme version here and they’re a little more complicated, ut definitely a fun adventure!
Summer Lunch Idea #21: Grilled Smothered Reuben
Leave the sauerkraut on for the parents and remove it for most kids!
Summer Lunch Idea #22: Pigs in a Blanket
These are simple, fun, and can be made by parents and kids in just minutes! You can use super cheap biscuits, cheap hotdogs, and almost any kind of sliced cheese!
We also made an easy honey mustard for a dipping sauce, Add some veggies nd dip and fresh fruit for a healthier, simple lunch!
Summer Lunch Idea #23: Perfect Salmon Patties
We made these ALL the time and they’re super simple! When you add a few splashes of lime or lemon, they taste super summery!
Summer Lunch Idea #24: Turkey and Cheese Skewers
These are simple and made with lunch meat and veggies! Perfect for little hands ot help assemble!
Summer Lunch Idea #25: Easy Stir Fry
Don’t be intimidated by a stir fry! They’re truly super simple and make the perfect, lazy lunch! Plus, you can get a LOT of veggies into one stir fry recipe!